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Chapter 1: Let's Tame the Restive Horse-Girl, Part 7
「Could this also be a trap?」
「I don't think so.」
Aur approached the baby quite boldly, contrary to Mari who still held her swords up.
The Dungeon Seed which had the baby inside of it had swollen to some extent, but it was still small enough to hold it in one hand.
That was the evidence that it absorbed a great amount of magical power in such a short time. Aur designed it specifically so that it could grew in size to store more energy, and now he saw that this decision was on point.
But when he looked at it closely, there was no energy that turned to liquid inside. That must've meant that the child in itself was a concentration of high-density magical power. But whether or not its existence was magical or not, it cannot leave the Dungeon Seed unless Aur allows it.
Aur couldn't sense any other enemies nearby, so he touched the Seed's surface. As soon as he did, the baby opened its eyes and looked at Aur.
Its eyes were green, the same color as its hair. Its pupils were like that of a wild animal, void of any emotions. It didn't do anything, it just stared at him. Then its expression suddenly distorted, and it began to cry.
「What is this? Why is he doing that?」
And it did just that. It cried. Its wails were certainly no magical attack, it was just a cry of a newborn baby. Aur continued to be puzzled, why Mari put her swords down and approached the Dungeon Seed.
「Lord Aur, can you get this child out?」
「I certainly could do that, but…」
「Then please just do it.」
「Aur listened to Mari's request, and poked the Seed with his finger. Its surface was cracked open, and it revealed the baby that was crying inside of it.
As soon as it came out of the seed, it began to cry even louder. Large tears were streaming down its cheeks, it opened and closed its mouth like a fish that was out of the water, and it threw its small arms and legs about. Mari took it from Aur and rocked it gently in her arms.
「All right, it's all right. Everything's fine now, there's no need to cry.」
The baby slowly calmed down, and stopped crying.
「I think it's a girl, Lord Aur. I'm sorry to ask this of you, but don't you have some clothes that we could put on her? She'll catch a cold otherwise.」
「Hmm… use this for now.」
He didn't have any spare clothing on him, so he took off his coat. Mari quickly wrapped the baby girl in it tightly.
「You sure know your way around that stuff.」
「I had a lot of practice with Alice and Arc, after all.」
To Mari, every child Aur had with the princesses of Figlia or Yunis was like a little sister or little brother. And since she had to help take care of them, she had a lot of practice.
「Anyway, why is there a baby in a place such as this?」
Aur didn't know the answer to that question, so he chose to remain silent.
「I have everything we need, I think. Clothes, diapers, crib, etc.」
「Sorry for the trouble.」
Aur thanked Yunis for bringing all the necessary things.
「But you know, I sure was surprised as h.e.l.l when I saw Mari entering the s.h.i.+p with a child.」
「And I'm amazed that you managed to bring all of this. This seems like quite a lot of weight.」
Lilu remarked, poking Yunis' side with her finger.
When they finally decided to get out of the Dungeon, Mari still held the baby in her arms as she walked side by side with Aur, giving the succubus girl quite a shocker. If he had to describe it on a scale from one to ten, it would be a solid ten.
At first she was rather reluctant, but she finally agreed to contact Yunis.
As soon as she saw the child, she immediately returned to the Dungeon to procure all the things necessary for the child's caretaking. As part of her abilities as a spirit, she was able to teleport anywhere she wanted, and carry unrestricted amount of items with her, so getting them all transported in one go was not a problem.
「Since we don't know if she is a mortal, magical or maybe artificial being I thought it would be better to take more things with me, just in case.」
Even Spina, who was somewhat of an expert when it came to the artificial life was not able to clearly state what the baby was exactly.
「Could it be that someone got into the dungeon before me and used some kind of artifact to crate this child?」
「It certainly is a possibility.」
Spina confirmed that such a thing was not impossible.
「But it is certain that it seems to be absorbing the magic from the Dungeon Seed, so perhaps it would be better if she was kept in the dungeon at all times.
「Just one troubling thing after another…」
Aur put a hand on his forehead, sensing an incoming headache.
He noticed that everyone was staring at him.
「Do not worry. We might not know who this baby is, but it does not mean that I will order you to outright kill it.」
As he proclaimed so, everyone was visibly relieved. They were probably happy for the kid, even if it was not their own.
「So what are we going to do with it now?」
「Well obviously we have to give her a name.」
Mari lifted the baby in her arms and looked at it with an expression of deep care. Her eyes were following everyone in the room at all times. For a little kid like that, what they were doing must've been extremely interesting.
「Then I think Mari should be the one to do it.」
「Can I, really?」
Aur looked at Mari and nodded.
「You two were the one who found her, after all.」
「Make sure to pick a good name, Mari.」
「Aur is no good when it comes to that kind of stuff.」
「You can say that again.」
Deep in thought, Mari looked at the baby, then at Spina, and then at the bay again.
「How many times did I tell you to call me Elder Sister Disciple?」
Spina was strict with Mari like usual.
「Then, Elder Sister?」
It was the first time Mari called Spina in such a way. She did not missed the fact that she seemed strangely satisfied when she called her like that.
「What is it, Younger Disciple?」
「Can I give your name to this baby? Your old one, I mean.」
「My name is Spina, apprentice in sorcery to Master Aur. Nellis Bea Spina. I've cast my old name aside, and I don't need it anymore. Do what you want with it.」
「Thank you so much.」
Mari's smile was as bright and cheerful as a basket full of kitties in the morning sun.
「From now on, your name is Sophia.」
Mari lifts the baby… no, lifts Sophia into the sky.
「It's the name of the strongest, most n.o.ble and beautiful person that I know!」
And thus, a name that was once despised and cursed became a blessing.